"British jobs for British workers"
Negative immigrant sentiments seem to appear in public discourse during various times of national concern. Host attitudes toward immigrants seem to be concerned most with access to scarce economic resources and competition for jobs. It would seem logical then that during times of economic turbulence, attitudes toward immigrants would be on the rise. A study by the Institute for Public Policy Research found that contrary to popular belief, foreign migrant workers do not pose a harmful threat to UK jobs and wages. The massive influx of Eastern European migrants since 2004 may in fact even have a small positive impact, say economists. The study was done amidst various protests held in favour of “British jobs for British workers”.
These fears of host societal members seem to arise from larger structural concerns, often complicated by contentious politics. Economic recessions are often complex to understand, even for well trained economists. What often ends up happening is that immigrants and foreign workers become the scapegoats. Logically, they are the perfect group to blame since they really have no collective voice to defend themselves; ‘their’ success means ‘our’ failure. There have been many studies showing that reinforcing a commonality between the two groups (host and immigrant), often reduces the of amount dissent towards immigrants.
Does EU membership change attitudes at all? It would seem that a collective European identity is not yet reflected if this scapegoating is occurring. Thanks for sharing. This is an interesting post.